Interplay between multiple scattering and optical nonlinearity in liquid crystals
We discuss the role played by time-dependent scattering on light propagation in liquid crystals. In the linear regime, the effects of the molecular disorder accumulate in propagation, yielding a monotonic decrease in the beam spatial coherence. In the nonlinear case, despite the disorder-imposed Brownian-like motion to the self-guided waves, self-focusing increases the spatial coherence of the beam by inducing spatial localization. Eventually, a strong enhancement in the beam oscillations occurs when power is strong enough to induce self-steering, i.e., in the non-perturbative regime.